GVSU mourns the death of longtime university supporter

portrait of Mary Ann Keeler
Mary Ann Keeler, one of Grand Valley’s founders and a longtime supporter of the university, died on January 14.
Image Credit: University Archives

Mary Ann Keeler, one of Grand Valley’s founders and a longtime supporter of the university, died on January 14. She was 95.

Keeler and her late husband, Miner S. Keeler II, supported Grand Valley from its founding. They served as co-chairs and led the community drive that supported the establishment of the school's presence in Allendale.

Keeler was an active Grand Valley University Foundation director since the 1980s, most recently serving on the foundation’s advisory cabinet.

Keeler was the first person to give to the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons and among the first to share the vision for the Allendale Campus project.  

“Mary Ann has always been a part of our campus community. She was a true visionary who showed a deep commitment to student success. We will miss her greatly,” said President Philomena V. Mantella.

Keeler’s many gifts to the university include her support for the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. The couple helped establish the Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler Home Health Laboratory Model Living Suite, giving students the opportunity to learn how to provide medical care to patients in a homelike setting.

The couple received numerous honors. Both received Grand Valley's Enrichment Award and were inducted into the university's Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2009, Grand Valley recognized Keeler’s philanthropic efforts by presenting her with an honorary doctorate of arts degree.